Is cheerleading a sport? This is a question that many folks ask, and if they ask this question the most frequent answer is no. I 100% disagree with that. Cheerleading is one of the toughest, most time consuming, and dangerous sports that one can take part in. I’ve been cheering since I was 14 years old and I never regretted the decision to make sacrifices for this game and my team.
In competitive cheerleading there are many components. Stunting, Tosses, Tumbling, Jumps, and Dance sections are some of the most crucial parts that make up a routine. All of these sections are scored by technique, quantity, difficulty, and creativity. Most folks will ask, “How do we maximize our score in a routine?” Simply enough, there are usually charts on the internet that tell you how many people you need to take part in each section to max out your teams score.
Stunting is when one person (usually referred to as a flier or top woman) gets held in the air by typically 3 or less other people (known as foundations), when stunting the bases must find a creative way to get the girl into the atmosphere and then just catch their feet. Usually this means that the flier is going to have to spin or flip from the ground to get to the peak of the stunt with the assistance of her foundations tossing her up. This may be the most dangerous part of cheerleading if the bases and flier aren’t trained correctly. The flier has to learn how to control her body and the bases need to have the ability to capture the flier as she flips and spins on the way up or down from a stunt.
As we get to the tumbling section a lot of people need to understand the mental and physical strength that has to do with this particular part of cheerleading. Tumbling is exactly what you see on the Olympics when the gymnasts are turning all over the place on their floor routines. While the cheerleaders and gymnasts make this seem easy, it requires a whole lot of time to get all these critical skills for the team you’re on. A fantastic example of a group which maximizes their higher-level tumbling abilities is Top Gun: TGLC.
Tosses are almost like stunting except the objective of a throw is to throw the flier as high in the air as your can and then catcher her on down the road. While the girl is about 10 to 15 feet in the air she must then kick, twist, or reverse depending on what level the team she is on competes. The bases must concentrate on the girl that’s in the air the entire time as she does her twists, kicks, and flips while there are bright lights that are shining on the stage beaming in their eyes. All of them must be sure they do their jobs since when the flier messes up then she kicks a base and doesn’t get caught, if the bases look away or get distracted then the flier hits the ground and can become seriously injured.
Jumps require the cheerleader to jump of the floor and hit a position with their legs. Jumps are my main struggle as they take a whole lot of time and hip flexor strength for them to an appropriate height. Based on what degree the group is some of these athletes even have to add a tumbling pass connected to a jump.
Dance is where the majority of the teams will get super creative. This is usually at the end of a regular and only lasts about 15 minutes. Coaches will go step-by-step and section-by-section to be sure that every motion and every movement is made at the specific time that it is supposed to. Most teams will incorporate hip or other styles of dancing to give the conclusion of the regular some flair and sass.
Most people don’t realize just how much work is put to a cheerleading routine. For the whole 2 minutes and 30 seconds these athletes are focused and committed to this routine. The same as football or baseball they spend hours and hours at the gym working to perfect those skills to succeed. Cheerleading is a sport and the children are defiantly athletes.